Featured image: Dean of Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology Professor Mark Cassidy and Ørsted Australia Director Henriette Holm.

A new collaboration has been formed between a university and a leading offshore wind development company to help improve offshore wind research, developments and outcomes for Australia. 

The University of Melbourne Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology (FEIT) have partnered with the world’s largest offshore wind developer, Ørsted. 

Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology Dean Professor Mark Cassidy signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Ørsted, which has over thirty years of experience in the development of offshore wind energy projects with wind farms across three continents in Europe, America and the Asia-Pacific region.

The MOU is expected to bring together Ørsted’s operational experience with the University’s knowledge of the local marine environment, biodiversity and Indigenous Sea Country to help design and deliver the best offshore wind outcomes in Australia.

University of Melbourne lead, Dr Shiaohuey Chow said that the university is well-positioned to provide access to, and targeted development of, a dedicated workforce.

“I am excited to work together with Ørsted to contribute towards unlocking offshore wind energy in Australia. Extending beyond workforce development, our research capabilities at the University of Melbourne will support Ørsted to tackle challenges unique to the Australian development of offshore wind farms,” Dr Chow said.

The partnership with Ørsted will begin with a guest lecture on offshore wind foundation design delivered by Ørsted Senior Specialist, Avi Shonberg, in a newly launched subject ‘Offshore Wind Geotechnical Engineering’.

The partnership will also focus on enhancing the preparedness of students and researchers for careers in the growing renewable energy sector.

Ørsted Australia Director, Henriette Holm, said the partnership will leverage the strengths of two global leaders in their respective fields that are committed to Australia’s offshore wind and renewable energy future.

“Ørsted is delighted to join forces with the University of Melbourne to help Australia fast-track and benefit from its enormous offshore wind potential.

“With the sharing of expert local and global knowledge, the MOU will help accelerate collaboration around offshore wind opportunities to deliver the best outcomes for Australian communities, workforces, educators, businesses and the environment,” Ms Holm said. 

“Ørsted is a strong believer in long-term academic partnerships, which have helped it achieve unrivalled success in constructing 33 offshore wind farms across Europe, the US and Asia Pacific.”

Ørsted believes the development of an Australian offshore wind industry holds huge potential for experienced professionals with transferable skills and those just entering the workforce. 

The initial phase of Ørsted’s proposed project off the coast of Gippsland in Victoria will create up to 6,000 jobs, with local workers and students able to engage in technical knowledge and skills transfer programmes.

Featured image: Dean of Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology Professor Mark Cassidy and Ørsted Australia Director Henriette Holm.

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